ODE grant “revitalizes” WBN


Fiona Dunn

Journalism 1 student, Avery Eckley, preps a microphone for filming. Eckley needed the microphone for her video project–one of the units in Journalism 1.

In WBN newspaper lingo, a “formatter” refers to students who use Adobe InDesign to design the pages of The Paw Print, Wilsonville High School’s print newspaper. Any Adobe software can be finicky–always problematic, painfully slow, jarringly glitchy–and to be quite frank, attempting to design the pages on WBN’s laptops was near impossible. 

That is, it was impossible; however, this year WBN leveled up.

Thanks to Mr. John Fitzgerald’s efforts, Wilsonville’s Journalism and Broadcasting 2+ classes are now listed as Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses–a minute change that opened the door to limitless possibilities.

Earlier this school year, WBN received the Oregon Department of Education CTE Revitalization Grant, which was in large part how the program managed to level up its publications.

The Upper Cluster (where all Journalism and Broadcasting classes transpire) has–itself–been “revitalized.” 

The classroom’s back wall now features five computer workstations that effectively and efficiently run Adobe software like InDesign and Premiere Pro. 

Matthew Crowley uses the stations to edit footage for WBN’s The 97070 Show. The computer allows him to not just compile the videos, it also allows him the space to experiment with different facets of Premiere Pro.

The ten new laptops–also provided by ODE Revitalization Grant–have been used by all levels of Wilsonville journalism. 

The upper levels of WBN use the laptops to format pages of The Paw Print, and the introductory journalism course used the laptops for their unit of journalistic columns, during which they tackled InDesign basics. 

The students studied and attempted to implement page design strategies: multiple entry points, purposeful white space, and layout boxes to name but a few. In the past, Journalism 1 students did not have access to Adobe software; there was simply no avenue through which they could learn to use them. 

Yet, the new laptops provided them with the opportunity to experiment with real journalistic techniques, while they learned hands-on, immersed in their content.

Also new to the program this year are the new wireless camera microphone and a podcast recording kit.

Thanks to the Oregon Department of Education’s Revitalization Grant, all facets of Wilsonville High School’s student media have access to better equipment–and thus are able to learn more about all types and avenues of journalism.